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Shrine Games

Pete Rose's career is a featured attraction in Cooperstown, even though he remains ineligible for the Hall of Fame

February 16, 2003|Ben Bolch | Times Staff Writer

* The batting helmet Rose wore during the 1973 season, when he won the batting title and was selected the National League's most valuable player.

* The bat Rose used to collect his 4,000th hit, on April 13, 1984.

* A photo of Rose sliding headfirst, arms outstretched, into home plate at Wrigley Field.

A tribute with the display reads, "A rose by any other name is still a Rose, particularly if he hustles every second in a dirty uniform."

More references to Rose can be found in the Hall's library, which contains photo files, newspaper articles and audio/video clips of every major league player past and present.

Rose goodies might not be for sale at the gift shop, but they are available at many of the memorabilia stores that line Main Street, just a few doors down from the Hall.

Turns out that Rose possesses at least one thing none of the 256 Hall of Famers does: a Cooperstown store named after him. At Pete Rose Ballpark Collectibles, a Wheaties box autographed by Rose goes for $125, while a signed pair of spikes commands $275.

But even here, amid the reverential overload, lies a reminder of Rose's darker side. In a display case rests a copy of the May 9, 1988 issue of Sports Illustrated, with a picture of Rose and the headline "SUSPENDED!" on the cover. The subhead reads, "Pete Rose gets 30 days for shoving an umpire."

Pressed for details on Rose's affiliation with the store, the man behind the counter turned testy and refused to comment.

Across the street at Mickey's Place, another memorabilia shop, manager Kevin Klix said Rose signs hundreds of autographs at the store every summer during Hall of Fame weekend. Of course, that hasn't driven down the price of a Rose-autographed baseball ($85) or photo ($60) at Mickey's.

Funny thing is, perhaps nowhere is Rose more celebrated than the place where he is also banned.

"We give him a lot of recognition in the museum," Petroskey said. "The only thing missing is a plaque on the wall in the Hall of Fame."

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

19 Men Out

Pete Rose and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson had careers that would have led to their enshrinement in baseball's Hall of Fame -- had they not been banned along with 17 other players of lesser accomplishments. Eight of the suspended were members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox, who were accused of fixing World Series games. The list:

Eddie Cicotte: Member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

William Cox: Former Philadelphia Phillie owner was sanctioned in 1943 for betting on Phillie games.

Cozy Dolan: Former New York Giant coach was accused of trying to fix a game in 1924. Questioned by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, his answers were considered evasive.

Phil Douglas: He wrote a former teammate opaquely offering to desert the New York Giants, if rewarded, so he would not have to help Manager John McGraw, whom he hated, win a pennant. His career ended in 1922.

Jean Dubuc: National League pitcher was involved with Heinie Zimmerman in 1919 World Series fix.

Happy Felsch: Member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Ray Fisher: A respected gentleman and longtime baseball coach at the University of Michigan, he was sanctioned in 1921 for contract jumping.

Chick Gandil: Member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Joe Gedeon: Former St. Louis second baseman served on the ad hoc committee to throw the 1919 World Series.

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson: Member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Lee Magee: He confessed to helping fix games in 1918. Said if he was barred he would take some famous people with him "for tricks turned ever since 1906."

Fred McMullin: Member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Jimmy O'Connell: New York Giant player told Philadelphia infielder Heinie Sand before a game in 1924 that "it will be worth $500 to you if you don't bear down on us today." On whose authority he acted was never ascertained.

Gene Paulette: Philadelphia Phillie first baseman accepted gifts from a St. Louis gambler in 1919.

Swede Risberg: Member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Pete Rose: Cincinnati Red player and manager in 1989 accepted lifetime ban for gambling activities.

Buck Weaver: Member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Lefty Williams: Member of the 1919 Chicago White Sox.

Heinie Zimmerman: Batting and home run champion for the 1912 Chicago Cubs allegedly tried to bribe several players to fix games.

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Source: Major League Baseball

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